Governor Goes on Offensive. In what may well be harbinger of what will be happening for the next month, Governor Dayton released a set of comparative spreadsheets comparing his budget for E-12 education with what has been passed in the Legislature. Clearly, the revenue going to school districts is much more in the Governor's budget given that his target is more than twice that of either of the legislative targets.
Neither the House nor Senate named their conferees for the Tax Bill and E-12 budget bill today, but with the Governor's weighing in today on his education budget and the difference between it and what the legislature is considering, it's obvious negotiations are underway.
Here are the links to the information that Governor sent out today:
Funding by District Comparison
Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Comparison
Governor's Debt Service Equalization
Interactive Map Showing Revenue and Tax Relief Under Governor's Budget
The Legislature will counter the Governor's parry with information of their own and it is likely that the budget target will come up as the session continues, so stay tuned. Things will undoubtedly get interesting.
Teacher Licensing Article. This article was in today's edition of MinnPost and it provides a good summary of the effort. The House passed its version of the bill on the floor today on a vote of 76-55, with one DFLer voting for and one Republican voting against.
Here is the article: Lawmakers Fine-tune Proposed Overhaul of Teacher Licensing in Minnesota
National Charter/Testing Debate. It hasn't really shown up in Minnesota yet this year, but with the change in administrations at the Federal level, there's been a lot more talk about charter school performance and testing policy. Minnesota has hashed out a lot of the issues pertaining to charter schools that seem to be at the heart of much of the national debate, but that doesn't mean that some of the issues relating to testing won't take on increasing attention in the near future, especially in light of the recently-released Legislative Auditor's report on Minnesota's MCA testing.
The left-of-center The American Prospect has been following education policy debates closely the past couple of years and this article about how charter school and testing issues are currently playing out in Maryland.
Maryland Showdown on Testing, Charters, and the Direction of Public Schools